12/10/08 I'm joining the party today!
I must say, I'm very happy with my festive mantel! Yesterday, I started out with the supplies I had purchased on Monday, and after a little tweaking today, I think I'm done.
Nester's suggestions, I entwined two garlands as my base. I used a 9ft x 10" and a 9ft x 6", on sale at Old Time Pottery for $2.99 and $1.49, respectively. To fill it out a bit more, I wrapped it with a fluffier garland from Dollar Tree, which was just a single green strand and would have been fairly useless on its own.
It still needed a little more bulk in the middle, so I found the branches that had been trimmed off the Christmas tree and stuck a couple in. (The problem with that is that I don't know how long they will stay fresh. Probably not 4 to 5 weeks.) Then I started working with the rest of the stuff I got at OTP. The grassy things were $1.24 each (fall, 75% off) and the white twisty things were $.74. I gave the white things a light coat of satin nickel spray paint, and though you can't see it here, they already had a little sparkle to them.
I pulled them apart into smaller bunches, and stuck them in the garland here and there. I also used some silver ball picks I got at Dollar Tree a year or two ago, and some pinecones that I got at Salvation Army on Monday ($.49).
I like the twisty things a lot.
I used a Command hook at each end of the mantel, and one in the middle flat on the front. There is a cable tie looped around some of the garland in the middle and hooked onto that Command hook.
On the mantel, I used my beaded trees from DT, a round mirror that I bought several months ago at Goodwill and forgot about until I found it in a closet a few days ago, a smaller square mirror that I got at DT a while ago, and two glass urn-y things (can't think of the real name) filled with silver ornaments from DT. The barn stars, clock, and finial are always there.
I forgot all about the stockings until a couple minutes ago. Since they are very light, I just hooked them onto the garland itself. Actually, I'm not sure which I prefer: with or without stockings. Thoughts?
Don't forget to go to Nesting Place for more garland loveliness!